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Final analysis: The experts on Jaguars-Cowboys


JACKSONVILLE – Each week during the 2022 season, Jaguars "experts" – Tony Boselli, Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton and J.P. Shadrick – will analyze the following day's Jaguars matchup.

Up this week:

Tony Boselli, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars left tackle

  • The Jaguars will win if:They can keep pace with a balanced and explosive offense. The Jaguars need to score 28-plus to win, and with the way Lawrence is playing, I don't see that being a problem. Defensively. the Jags have had problems getting teams off the field. They will need to force two-to-three turnovers and play a bend-but-don't-break defense. Winning the turnover battle will be key.
  • The Cowboys will win if:They are able to run the ball effectively with Elliott and Pollard. This will keep the Cowboys ahead of the chains and set up the play-action pass, which will stress the back half of the Jaguars defense. This will set up big plays in the passing game, an area in which the Jaguars have struggled. 
  • As Boselli sees it:This is a playoff-like game for the Jaguars. It will be a great atmosphere. If the Cowboys win, they are in the playoffs, so you know you will get their best. Lawrence is playing at such a high level right now. I think he has a huge game and lights up the Cowboys' defense. It will be a high-scoring affair: Jags 34, Cowboys 31.

Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars

  • The Jaguars will win if:They continue to protect Lawrence, who is slowly growing into one of the top young quarterbacks in the NFL. The chemistry between Lawrence and his receivers is better every week; this is a top-notch passing game. The Jaguars also must contain Dallas' two terrific running backs and make the Cowboys one-dimensional. Prescott has thrown some picks when pressured this season. The Jags must find a pass rush.
  • The Cowboys will win if: They get to Lawrence. That may be the only way to slow what is becoming a very impressive Jaguars passing game. They must also get Pollard and Elliott going and wear down the Jaguars' defense. That is when the Cowboys are at their best.
  • As Frangie sees it: The Cowboys are very good. They are 10-3 in a terrific division. They are very good on defense and have weapons on offense. But the Jags have found something; they have legitimate momentum. I expect yet another fourth-quarter game. This one could be very close.

Jeff Lageman, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars defensive end

  • The Jaguars will win if:They can bring the defensive level to a higher level against a high-scoring offense. The Jags' defense had been struggling prior to the Tennessee game. but was able to stop Derrick Henry and Co. with four takeaways. Dallas has a balanced offense with two really good running backs that must be neutralized in order to slow Prescott. Takeaways must continue and the performance of the defense has to be on point. 
  • The Cowboys will win if: Their stars on defense play like stars. Parsons and defensive end Demarcus Lawrence are outstanding, and Jaguars tackles Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor will need help at times to slow their impact. Dallas has the second-highest amount of takeaways in the NFL and has scored touchdowns off three of them. The Jaguars will need to avoid negative plays and obvious passing situations. 
  • As Lageman sees it: This is going to be a tremendous test for Lawrence and his team. Dallas is looking to clinch a playoff spot and the Jaguars are looking to keep their playoff hopes alive. Lawrence has been fantastic the last five games, showing that he is truly a franchise quarterback and his level of play must continue. The coaching staff will need to help protect him with a scheme that has a solid running game and one that allows him to get the ball out of his hand quick. It will be a great crowd with a packed house and a BIG game environment that a young Jaguars football team must be able to handle without being in awe of the star of America's team. 

Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director

  • The Jaguars will win if:They run for over 120 yards and win the turnover battle. The Jags need to keep the ball away from Dallas and getting running back Travis Etienne Jr. back on track would be ideal. There are a lot of good things happening, but Etienne has been quiet. The Jags will need him to be a weapon to beat Dallas.
  • The Cowboys will win if:They hold the Jags to less than 24 points. The Jaguars are winless this year when they score less than 24 points. Dallas hasn't scored less than 27 points since Week 7. 
  • As Martineau sees it:I feel good about this game for the Jaguars, but I think Dallas is really good. I think it's going to be a heck of a game and atmosphere at the 'Bank. I'm trying not to get caught up in the good vibes in Jacksonville right now and the matchup leans toward Dallas too much - 30-23 Cowboys win a good one.

John Oehser, senior writer

  • The Jaguars will win if:They get big plays from the running game and force turnovers defensively. The Jaguars must move effectively on the ground, and ideally get an early lead, to negate a strong Cowboys pass rush. They probably need multiple takeaways to get a lead and hold it against one of the NFL's best teams.
  • The Cowboys will win if:They control tempo with running backs Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliot, then dominate the game with their pass rush. The Jaguars must stop Pollard/Elliott on early downs and force the Cowboys to throw in unfavorable situations.
  • As Oehser sees it:The Jaguars could win enough in the final month of the season to push Tennessee for the AFC South title, but this could be the toughest matchup remaining on their schedule.

Brian Sexton, senior correspondent

  • The Jaguars will win if:They protect quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The Cowboys lead the NFL in pressure on the quarterback and have accumulated 48 sacks on their way to a 10-3 record. They also have forced 11 fumbles with 12 interceptions. Linebacker Micah Parsons has 12 sacks, and three other players have at least six sacks each. The Jaguars have protected Lawrence well this season, not allowing a sack in six games – including last week against a Tennessee defense known for getting to the quarterback. This week marks their biggest challenge of the season. First, the Jaguars play the Cowboys – and on Thursday they play the New York Jets, who have the NFL's fourth-best pass rush this season. 
  • The Cowboys will win: If they can shut down Lawrence. Which NFL quarterback has played better since November began? He has completed 72 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and no interceptions. He is the NFL's highest-rated passer since Week 9. The Jaguars are winning because Lawrence is playing his best football. Stop him and you beat the Jaguars. 
  • As Sexton sees it:Last week was no surprise. The Jaguars matched up well with the Titans. When the defense started making plays, the outcome was secured. This would be a surprise win for the Jaguars. The Cowboys score with ease and the Jaguars struggled against a similar Lions team two weeks ago. Still, I love the idea of a meaningful game against America's Team with Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson calling the shots. This one is more from the heart than the head, but I think the Jaguars stay with the Cowboys. I think Lawrence makes a play to set up a game-winning field goal as time runs out.

J.P. Shadrick, senior reporter

  • The Jaguars will win if:They can stay ahead of the chains, have manageable down-and-distance situations and work with an early lead. If the Cowboys pass rush gets cranked up, look out. If the offensive line can control the line of scrimmage, this can be a good day for the Jags. Lawrence is rolling, so don't be scared to ask him to make some plays. Also, if Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott throws you one or two balls, catch them. 
  • The Cowboys will win if:They force a couple of takeaways and set up extra possessions for their tandem of running backs. Elliott is a powerful runner, while Pollard is outgaining him as an outside or passing-game option primarily. If the Cowboys run effectively, they win. If their defense gets a couple takeaways, they win.
  • As Shadrick sees it:A meaningful home game in December for the Jaguars at long last. The Jaguars after a win over the Ravens got blown out in Detroit the following week. How they approached this week after a great win over the Titans will be key. There seemed to be great energy and awareness of the importance of this game, and what it means for the stretch run. Go win it in front of a packed house, and the final three weeks will be the most fun we've had here since early 2018.

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